2014 Called; It Wants Its Deck Back

Saan 3078

For those who've been around a while, this is a pretty recognizable archetype from back in the day. I've been having quite a lot of success with it, and now that Gateway and System Update 2021 are nearly upon us, and a LOT of this deck goes out the window, I thought I'd throw the list out there.

The Engine

I've seen a couple other AtmanSucker lists out there, and while there are a few of them that exist, this one is mine. Now, Atman and Datasucker have been legally playable for quite some time, yet no one was playing the deck. The reason? Parasite. Parasite is the key that lets you burn away all that annoying ICE that your Atmans struggle with, and gives you servers with which to farm your precious Datasucker counters.

Simulchip makes things a littler harder than Clone Chip in this regard, since you need to destroy a program the turn that you're using it to install Parasite, so that means you need to be careful what you sell to Aesops and when, since he's often your activator for Simulchip for the turn. This isn't news to people playing Shaper recently, but I might be nice for people just tuning in to playing green runners.

Traditionally, getting an Atman on 4 and on 0 is the way to go, although setting one on 5 can be very nice against Jinteki, since a lot of their best and most commonly run ICE is strength 5 (Anansi, Engram Flush, and Slot Machine come to mind). This can make it easier to make a server susceptible to Datasucker farming than setting it on 4 and being vulnerable to a purge. Engolo is here as a backup breaker, helping you through tight spots, although most games I don't bother installing it. MU is tight enough without needing to find room for 2 more than I'm barely going to use.

I'm doing 3 Stimhacks rather than 2, because you really want to Stimhack out your first Atman if at all possible, whether through an SMC use or through using a Simchip to install a just-sold-to-Aesop's Cache from the heap, jumping in an Atman from your grip with your Hayley trigger. Either way, it's expensive as hell setting an Atman to 4 or 5, so doing it with fake money from drugs is the way to go.

Speaking of 3s, it's 3 Atman and 3 Datasuckers for me as well. It's very often that you end up drawing one of the two, and end up using an SMC and a Hayley trigger to install them both mid-run, which is insanely click efficient. I could probably get away with only 2 Atmans (since you never want to install the 3rd), but I just like the consistency.

Money and Winning

I mean, there's not much to say here, other than this is pretty typical Shaper pre-Gateway econ. Aesop's and ProCon have been staples in most functional Shaper decks for a couple years now, and I'm running the usual gamut of stuff to sell. Cache is worth its weight in gold, and Dailies get sold when they reach 2 counters, so nothing new there. I'm running 1 Harbinger and 1 Hunting Grounds rather than 2 Harbingers, but mostly because at some point I threw a Hunting Grounds in for NBN reasons, and it's just kinda stayed there. 2 Harbingers is completely fine.

Kati is in there because I remembered she existed, and thought it might help in long games. She could easily be a third Akamatsu and it might just plain be better. Finding MU early is nice, and you can always just pawn it if/when it becomes unnecessary.

For win conditions, Shaper has Indexing, so we're doing Indexing. Parasite, Atman, and Datasucker means an easily accessible R&D, so it just makes the most sense. RDI is too expensive, Khusyuk isn't amazing because we're selling most of our things that cost 1 to Aesop's, and Stargate munches both MU and influence, as does Medium.

Clot makes an appearance as well, since Titan and Asa decks still harry Netrunners with their shenanigans, and we can fit the influence. Legwork is another reasonable use of the influence, since we're doing the traditional lock-the-remote type of deck (and if they can't score agendas, guess where the agendas they've been drawing are), so you could go that route as well. It depends on what decks you're playing against in your local meta.

I'm sad to see Hayley go, but she's been the go-to Shaper for long enough that it's okay. It was also nice to have a revisiting of Indexing, Cache, and Parasite, all of which have been a huge help to Shapers. And Stimhack.... my dear, beloved Stimhack. It's going to be a very different game in a couple weeks, but I'm beyond excited to play in it.


19 Mar 2021 Cliquil

Great list. I will be sad to see Hayley go too, and a lot of the pieces that makes this work. A wonderful way to play the game. But the future beckons for us all!